Trattoria Al Forno Bon Voyage Character Breakfast Review at Disney’s BoardWalk

Back on February 23, 2017, Disney announced that a new character breakfast would arrive at Trattoria al Forno on the BoardWalk beginning April 2nd. And like any 30-something single adult male, it’s where I chose to spend my Sunday morning.

Featuring Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, Princess Rapunzel, and I guess Just Flynn Rider, the breakfast takes on an adventure theme with this Bon Voyage Adventure Journal presented tableside.

There was something mentioned about writing down your dreams and I quickly jotted, “Getting out of this breakfast before it gets too weird.”

You might remember that I reviewed the a la carte breakfast here quite positively back in August. And while some of those Italian flavors remain on the new menu, this is a fixed price affair. Adults are $34 and kids between the ages of three and nine are $20.

Here’s the menu:

I appreciated that there was a lot of variety and unlike a lot of other character meals that are buffets or served family style, this is more akin to Cinderella’s Royal Table where entrees are plated individually with choice of fruit appetizer and pastries to share.

The Kids’ Menu offers similar flavors in smaller portions:

The Mickey Waffle is a nice addition.

I am not historically a “glow cube person,” but somebody figured out how to make them in a lot of fun designs, including Pascal here. The lotus flower over at Animal Kingdom is really cool too, in addition to the little derby hat available at Hollywood Brown Derby.

Trattoria’s setting is unlikely to make or break the experience.

The fact that the characters are hosting breakfast here doesn’t really make any thematic sense, but the tables aren’t typically on top of each other and the diverse styles of tables and chairs are kind of fun.

Unsurprisingly, there aren’t any special decorations or anything to set the meal apart from the previous breakfast or current dinner. Music, which is heavy on adventure themes, does help set the mood a little bit. The setting isn’t as neat as Akershus or Cinderella’s Royal Table, but the price also reflects that.

The four characters meet separately tableside. It seemed like the couples theme was being played up by Disney in their various announcement posts, but apparently not enough to send the characters to each table together. None of them have PhotoPass photographers or handlers so it’ll be on you and your neighbors to take care of the photos.

You can hire me to pop in and take some pictures as long as you promise me your leftover calzone on the way out.

They did a nice job of stopping by, mingling a bit, signing autographs, and letting bloggers take their pictures of just them. I appreciated Prince Eric’s more dapper outfit versus his usual red sash.

This is the only location where you’ll find Flynn and Eric meeting under ordinary circumstances, while Ariel can usually be found at Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table, in addition to her Grotto in Fantasyland. Rapunzel is not typically at the Royal Table, but does meet at Princess Fairytale Hall. So the character lineup is somewhat unique in that regard and offers a couple of in-demand princesses in addition to the male leads.

Fortunately, what the atmosphere lacks in details is made up in swift order by the food. Here, the pastries are presented in a frying pan.

And they were of impressive quality. Up front are cherry turnover “clam shells” with a really nice flaky crust and rich cherry filling. The sun in the center is pastry crust covered in powdered sugar – thin and crispy. The twist had a sweet croissant vibe with the chocolate chips adding additional decadence. There are a couple of muffins hiding in there as well – one vanilla and other blueberry. Our server asked us if we wanted more of anything and we obliged on the clam shells.

Next up is a choice of Fruit Salad or Berry, Yogurt, and Granola Parfait. The serving of fruit is on the small side, but everything was vibrant and fresh and tasted like it was freshly prepared rather than being chopped up yesterday, which seems common with this sort of thing. There’s a little crown shortbread cookie with what appears to be glitter and a sword toothpick, which were fun little touches.

The Parfait is straightforward vanilla yogurt with some fresh fruit, the crunchy granola bar, and a red crab cookie. I think the Parfait is a little more interesting and a nice refreshing way to begin the meal.

We were seated next to the kitchen, so I had a lot of opportunities to watch the various entrees get sent out. The “Tower of Pancakes” – Seasonal Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon or Sausage were easily the most popular, presented here in a stack with a rich berry compote that really helped carry the dish and dusted on top with powdered sugar in the same sun pattern as the pastry above. The pancakes were a little denser and a little dryer than I would have liked, but the strawberry compote added a fruity element and there were far too many of them to be reasonably consumed by one person. The bacon was nice and crispy.

It’s hard to believe that the same people that came up with “Avatar Sangria” arrived at “Shipwreck al Forno” – Calzone with scrambled Eggs, Soppressata, Bacon, Sausage,
Blend of Cheeses and Sunday Gravy, but here we are.

I’m not sure how obvious it is, but this is a stupid amount of food. easywdw.com is not known for missing meals and I could do half of this thing if I didn’t eat for a week and set my mind to it. The flavor profile was not as complex as I would have liked given the immense size and list of ingredients – the sausage had that stereotypical spice to it with the fennel seed, pepper, and onion doing most of the work. There’s some basil, oregano, and garlic powder in there too, but I’m not sure I could have identified any of the other main ingredients. The egg seemed to provide a nice soft layer wrapped around the inside of the soft crust and the bacon added a slightly different meatiness to the bites where it was found. The Soppressata, which is a type of dry salami, was rarely present but added some additional meatiness whenever it made its presence known. The “Sunday Gravy,” which is a thin tomato sauce underneath the stuffed dough, does help temper the spice and adds more of a pizza vibe. It’s certainly a filling meal and if you’re staying at the BoardWalk, you might appreciate being able to bring half back to the room for later. I’m not sure how many people are going to be in the mood for this much sausage at 9am.

I ordered the “Royal Breakfast” – Oak-Grilled Steak, Cheesy Egg Torte, Asparagus, Crispy Onions, and Roasted Potatoes.

The steak is probably larger than it looks in the picture – two 4-ounce “medallions” perhaps.

It was cooked on the rare side of medium and the cut was a little chewy, but it had a nice oak-grilled flavor to it and was the same quality as the $~20 breakfast steaks that you would order elsewhere.

This is the $19 Flat Iron Steak from Grand Floridian Cafe, for example.

Anyway, I appreciated the crispy onions on the potatoes – they added a lot of flavor to the otherwise perfectly-prepared potatoes. I didn’t care much for the Cheesy Egg Torte – it had a strange, almost-gelatinous texture, and the sauce and asparagus just made it all the more soggy. Overall, there was a nice variety of flavors on the plate and it ended up being quite filling.

Overall, I think these reviews read more negatively than our actual experience…the food was probably better than the majority of the buffets offered around property because a lot more attention is taken with each plate. But you do give up a lot of the variety that can make breakfast buffets fun. Personally, I think I prefer the more relaxed pace of a seated meal. You don’t have to scan the room to see if you’re going to miss any characters if you get up and you don’t have to make three separate trips with all of the kids’ food three or four times throughout the meal. Service was friendly and attentive all around. We really felt taken care of.

Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno offers a nice opportunity to meet Rapunzel, Ariel, Flynn, and Eric in a serene atmosphere with food that is above average for a character meal. Pricing is in line with breakfasts at Cape May Cafe ($32/$19), Garden Grill ($32/$19), Crystal Palace ($32/$19), Hollywood & Vine ($32/$19), Ohana ($32/$19), and Tusker House ($32/$19). It’s less expensive than Akershus ($47/$28), Chef Mickey’s ($40/$24), and Cinderella’s Royal Table ($59/$36).

The meal can be booked online here, though a reservation is almost impossible to secure at the moment. The restaurant was only about half full despite no reservations being available, ostensibly to give the kitchen an opportunity to see how much food they can reliably deliver or how many tables the characters can reasonably greet during each set.

Considering the steak entree would run about $17 at a non-character breakfast, plus $3 for the soda and $5 for the fruit and pastry, there’s easily $25 in value here. A lot of people will find an additional $9 worth of value in the character interaction and photos. They do continue to accept the Tables in Wonderland discount.

‘Ohana breakfast and Crystal Palace breakfast/lunch/dinner reviews should be available later this week.

Comments

  1. Jeni says

    Thanks for the review Josh! I have a reservation for this the beginnng of May since we’ll be staying at the Beach Club.

  2. Linda says

    I agree that the couples should visit the tables together. I think that was the selling feature. However, it looks like a lovely experience. Thanks for the wonderful review and great meal photos!

  3. zavandor says

    I find unfortunate they’ve switched to a characted meal, which I don’t do because I don’t care for them and I prefer to save the extra money they command. I liked the food I ate at the Trattoria al Forno last January and I would have come back again in the future, but not as a fixed price meal. I think I paid 15$ tips included for a plate of pancakes….

    • josh says

      I haven’t seen them elsewhere yet, but this is also the first time that I had seen it anywhere. It’s possible or likely that they would be offered elsewhere.

  4. Samantha says

    Did the characters sign autographs? I know about the card they give you with their autographs, but wondering if they’ll sign something else.

  5. Andrea says

    I got a light up Tinkerbell at Sanaa last April for my birthday! :) thanks for the review! I think I prefer the format of this breakfast to others I’ve tried!

  6. Julia says

    So a beverage was included?
    Looks like a boy was leaning on your table.
    I wonder if you could ask to sub scrambled eggs for the gelatinous cheesy egg torte.

  7. Nell says

    I see no mention of eggs in the menu for the calzone. Are we sure there were eggs in this? If so, that’s a deal breaker for me, unless they could be omitted .

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